KIEFER Ravena hardly skipped a beat in his return to Gilas Pilipinas practice on Friday after going away for almost a week on vacation.
Feeling the effects of jetlag after going on a trip in London and Paris with girlfriend Alyssa Valdez, the amateur star hit the ground running when he came back to training at the Meralco Gym.
“Kahit papaano nakasabay rin ako sa kanila,” Ravena, who missed six training sessions, said after practice. “Hindi naman kasi pwedeng mag-relax o mag-dahilan pa kahit hindi pa ako nakakapag-adjust sa tulog.”
The former Ateneo star flew to Europe last May 25 and returned just last Wednesday.
“Mabilis lang yung bakasyon, medyo bitin,” Ravena admitted.
After some relaxation, the Gilas cadet star, the youngest in the pool at 22, went back to an intense environment at practice.
“Marami kaming scirmmages,” Ravena said. “Kasi kahit matagal tagal na kaming nagpa-practice, kailangan malaman pa namin ang laro ng isa’t isa.”
They have to. After all, the Olympic Qualifying Tournament is just a little over a month away.
Yet Ravena insisted that fighting for spots is the last thing on their minds.
“Andu’n kami sa stage na hindi namin iniisip kung sino ang mapapasama sa Final Twelve,” Ravena insisted. “Kahit sino tanungin mo sa amin, ganyan rin ang mindset.”
“Basta lahat kami nagtutulungan at ginagawa ‘yung best sa practice,” he added. “We’re all staying very competitive kasi kailangan namin mismo itaas ‘yung level of competition para makita nila coach Tab (Baldwin) kung sino ‘yung tingin nila na kayang lumaro sa level na hinahangad nila.”